In “What’s the Point of a Professor?“, an opinion piece in The New York Times, Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein laments the current role of professors. In the past, “students looked to professors for moral and worldly understanding.” Now, “finding meaning and making money have traded places.” In the past, “you couldn’t walk down the row of faculty o..
Natalia Cecire, a lecturer at in English and American literature at Sussex, has embarked upon an interesting project called “Crash Courses for the Desperate”:
Lately I’ve been thinking about what to do with students who suddenly need to get up to speed in a field, and don’t have time to take a course or immerse themselves in it for a year. I’m especially thinking..
Ann Cudd, currently Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies and University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, will become Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Boston University, starting this August. Professor Cudd works in social and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, feminist theory, and philosophy of social ..
Clifford Sosis continues his very interesting series of interviews with philosophers with Mary Louise Gill of Brown University. There’s a lot in this one, which Sosis helpfully sums up:
She talks about reading Gone with The Wind in secret at home (it was forbidden), being required to read J Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit in the 6th grade, her father, John Glanv..
Some fifth grade students in Irvine, California are getting an introduction to philosophy some eight years ahead of normal thanks to a new program developed by Marcello Fiocco, associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine. The program, called TH!NK, is a four-week, 16-hour course taught by Fiocco and UC Irvine philosophy graduate students at Canyon View Elementary..
Does your institution offer in-person philosophy courses for the public? The Sydney School of Continental Philosophy (School of the Arts & Media, UNSW Australia) and The Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy (University of Melbourne) do. Courses are run during school breaks and in the evenings, are relatively inexpensive, have no prerequisites and no assessment..
“East is East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall meet.”
Well, no. Kipling got it wrong.
The East and the West have been meeting for a long time. For most of the last few hund..
Karl Schafer, currently associate professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, has accepted an offer as full professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, starting this fall. Schafer works mainly in ethics, epistemology, the history of modern philosophy, and Kant, and on related issues in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and politi..
David Barnett, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will be resigning from the school with a $210,000 settlement. Barnett had gone through termination proceedings last year on grounds that he had retaliated against a student who had complained about another student sexually assaulting her (previous stories on this here). The D..
Si-Won Song, a student about to graduate from the University of Puget Sound, has created a series of digital artworks based on well-known philosophical thought experiments. Song, a philosophy major (with minors in studio art and Japanese) first got the idea from reading about Frank Jackson’s thought experiment, Mary’s Room, in Professor Justin Tiehen’s philosophy of..
Two weeks ago I put up a post soliciting questions for academic publishers. If you submitted a question, thanks. Editors at various presses—Peter Momtchiloff, Peter Ohlin, and Lucy Randall at Oxford University Press, Stephen Latta of Broadview Press, Hilary Gaskin of Cambridge University Press, Philip Laughlin of MIT Press, Rob Tempio of Princeton University Press..
A couple of weeks ago I put the entertaining promotional video for “Paradox and Infinity,” an online course by Augustín Rayo (MIT), in the Heap of Links. In case you missed it, I’ve put it at the bottom of this post. A few other online courses have been brought to my attention that look particularly good, including: two taught by large teams at the University of Ed..
No, no one has created one yet, but it would be useful. Something close to it is the philosophy page at TV Tropes, which lists various philosophical themes that, when clicked on, will take you to a page describing the theme in more detail and giving examples of it in a variety of mediums, including television.
Speaking of TV, Alison Gopnik (Berkeley) sent over t..
Spanish philosopher Emilio Lledó Iñigo has been awarded the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. Eight such awards are given annually, in different fields. The Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts went to Francis Ford Coppola and the award for social sciences was given to economist Esther Duflo. The awards include a replica of a Joan..
Cosmology’s hot streak has stalled. Cosmologists have looked deep into time, almost all the way back to the Big Bang itself, but they don’t know what came before it. They don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings. Something entirely unimaginable might have preceded it. Cosmologists don’t know if the world we see around us is..
If philosophy can sometimes sound weird to other philosophers, it can sound really weird to non-philosophers. Imagine (you can do it) you were in a conversation with some non-philosophers and they asked, “what’s your strangest philosophical belief?”
What would your answer be?
(image: detail of “They Have Slept In The Forest Too Long” by Max Ernst)
At his new site, What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher, Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina) has posted a long and wide-ranging interview with Michael Ruse (Florida State). The interview covers a lot of his personal life and how he got into philosophy, evolution and creationism and his testimony in the McLean versus Arkansas Board of Education lawsuit, interdisciplinary ..
Christy Wampole (Princeton) lays out a series of complaints and concerns about conferences in the humanities, including:
We have sat patiently and politely through talks read line by line in a monotone voice by a speaker who doesn’t look up once, wondering why we couldn’t have read the paper ourselves in advance with a much greater level of absorption.
Dale Miller (ODU) noticed that Public Affairs Quarterly has the following “Pre-Publication Policy“:
Public Affairs Quarterly will not publish material that has already appeared elsewhere. This is not at odds with authors sharing their papers with selected individuals whose comments they would welcome or who they wish for other reasons to inform about their work. ..
It is estimated that over 22,000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea trying to migrate to Europe from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia since the beginning of the 21st Century. In April of 2015 alone, “at least five boats carrying almost 2000 migrants” sank.
The latest response by the European Union to these events has been to increase border patrols a..
Robert Paul Wolff, at his blog The Philosopher’s Stone, objects to the use of trolley problems and other stylized thought experiments in which various complications are waved aside. “I am quite convinced that these sorts of thought experiments are nonsense,” he says. Wisely, he adds: “but it is not so easy to say why.”
I think that trolley problems and the like a..
Minerva is “a web tool for supporting philosophical historiography research.” It’s the master’s thesis project of Valerio Pellegrini, and was designed by him in conjunction with “a team of philosophical historians from the University of Milan” and the Density Design Research Lab. It was initially designed for examining the work of Immanuel Kant, but the idea is to e..
Title IX issues at Northwestern University are currently receiving a lot of attention, largely in editorial pieces and comments that obscure or omit certain facts. Since these facts may be relevant to your opinion about the events at Northwestern and Title IX more generally, and since the events in question centrally involve a philosophy professor and a philosophy g..
Nathan Nobis (Morehouse) writes in with a request:
I am seeking help with a small research project regarding race and philosophy. This project would be to (a) make a list of introductory philosophy and ethics textbooks and anthologies and (b) review those books to see what content they have regarding race. This is to find out what readings various anthologies con..
The Geek Feminism Wiki, a site aimed primarily at people involved in computing and technology, has a “Conference anti-harrasment” page. Brought to my attention by Maarten Steenhagen (thanks!), the site has a sample conference anti-harassment policy, a resource page with suggestions and answers to frequently asked questions, and other information.
In answer to the..
Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, a research associate with a term appointment at University College London, is claiming that his contract was not renewed “because his plans to ‘put white hegemony under the microscope’ were considered too much of a challenge to white-dominated academia,” according to an article in The Independent.
Coleman, who crosses out his surna..
Related to yesterday’s post about the differences between professors and teachers is a detailed analysis by Michael LaBossiere (Florida A&M) of his students’ attendance in his courses. He has long taken attendance and now makes use of Blackboard analytics for gathering information and “generating a picture of why students fail my classes.” He writes: